There is a good reason why Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world. There are few places on Earth where food, art, architecture, history, and fashion are so outstanding. Fashion is one of the best-known aspects of the country.
It’s no accident that so many Italian brands make any list of the world’s most luxurious brands. You might feel a bit intimidated stylistically in Italy and wonder what to wear so that you won’t look like a tourist.
Although looking spiffy is important, you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe of Versace or Fendi. A helpful packing guide and an overview of how to dress in Italy are provided below.
The Best Travel Backpack for Italy:
Your first consideration before traveling to Italy should be what bag will best suit your needs. Travel backpacks are the best option for your trip to Italy, particularly if it’s part of a larger European trip.
While you’re getting on and off planes or trains in European capitals, you don’t want to put up with the hassle of repeatedly checking and collecting baggage. My personal recommendation is the Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack, which I have personally used for many years of travel.
In addition to fitting within carry-on guidelines, the Outbreaker Backpack maximizes packability. Based on my extensive testing of all leading brands, I can say that the Outbreaker offers more capacity in a carry-on bag than any other.
While having unrivaled organization, the Outbreaker is also highly tactical. You can pack everything in its place with multiple compartments that feature an array of pockets. You can wear it for hours on end, which is crucial when you’re stuck in the backstreets of Rome looking for an Airbnb.
Style Guide: 8 Must-Pack Items to Wear in Italy:
You can follow Italian fashion better than the average traveler with this style guide for Italy. The following packing list is not comprehensive.
These are my eight biggest style tips for packing for Italy.
Wear Clothes that Fit Well:
In comparison to other European countries, Italians dress similarly. In spite of this, many people consider Italians to be the epitome of chic. What’s the reason? It is important to Italians that their clothing fits well. While some Italians wear tailored wool suits for $2,000, even cheap clothes look great when they fit well.
Italian fashion is characterized by fitted shirts, snug pants, and streamlined blouses. Despite embracing drape, such as linen culottes, women’s fashion still cinches or tailors their waists.
To look quintessentially Italian, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest “stylish” clothing that fits well. Simple outfits like a great-fitting tee and jeans will look and feel sophisticated.
Embrace Wool and Linen:
The ability of Italians to look put together all the time is almost mythical. Using a few simple, seasonal fabrics and a great fit, they create effortless brilliance.
With its ability to handle sweat and heat in the summer and cold and wet in the winter, merino wool makes a great travel fabric. Make sure you pack a few basic merino wool t-shirts and a few merino wool button-downs to explore Rome’s ruins or Florence’s cafes like a local.
Simplicity is key. Make it easy to mix and match outfits for sunset happy hour or a late-night club in Campo di Fiori with neutral colors.
As for linen, the same applies. The fact that linen wrinkles in transit have never been a big draw for me. It gets hot in Italy in summer, and linen is the coolest fabric for sweltering weather. Bring along linen pants or shorts for exploring the town, as well as a linen top for happy hour aperitifs by the river.
Pack Button Downs and Collared Shirts:
An Italian button-up is a classic and simple style. For going out, even if you’re not a button-up person, you’ll need at least one nice-looking shirt. The Italians can be incredibly classy, especially when you see them in action.
If you want to roll up your sleeves during the day, you should wear a linen or cotton blend long-sleeve button-up. Adding a blazer or rolling down the sleeves creates a put-together nighttime look. Men and women can both benefit from a nice button-up shirt, but it should not look stiff or formal.
If you’re going out during the day or going clubbing at night, add a pop of color with a fun print. Make sure you bring at least one nice shirt with a collar so you don’t stand out. Italian dress codes require it.
It’s Chic to Wear Short Shorts in Italy for Women:
There’s nothing more Italian than a pair of short shorts, and that’s not just for women. Whether you’re a guy, a girl, or a grandma, everyone wears shorts, and they’re probably a little smaller than you’re used to.
Get ready to wear shorts that show a little thigh if you’re traveling to Italy during the summer. There is a lot of skimpiness in the Italian style.
Make yourself look like a local by packing some colored travel shorts. Consider a wild pattern if you’re looking to make an impression with an extra “Italian” touch. There are no rules when it comes to shorts. Don’t be afraid to try.
What to Wear in Italy for Men: Your Blazer:
If you aren’t sure when to wear travel blazers but think they are stylish and handy, Italy is the place to be. A well-made travel jacket can elevate nearly any outfit.
What Not to Wear in Italy?
The Italians are notoriously relaxed about certain things, but they can be dismissive if they see you as strange. Plus, Italy is more fun if you blend in a little. If you walk a mile in another man’s Italian loafers, you might actually experience il dolce vita.
No Crocs or anything else listed below, even though they’re comfy.
Leave the Socks at Home:
Let me share a fun fact with you. In general, Italians don’t wear socks or at least ones that are visible. It is common for Italian men and women to simply wear espadrilles or loafers without socks.
With cuffed travel chinos or culottes, this look is chic and casual. You don’t have to pack socks anymore, which is great. The leather strap sandal is also a favorite among Italian women. You don’t need to wear high heels.
Don’t Wear a Snapback Cap:
I love my Tilak Wallowa trail hat, but it isn’t designed for a stylish Italian vacation. Baseball caps are not appropriate in Italy, no matter how cool they look at home. When you wear a cap or snapback in Italy (and much of Europe), you are immediately recognized as a tourist.
A ball cap that sticks out is the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, you risk becoming a victim of theft, scams, harassment, or being ripped off by Italians. Grab a hat for your Italian adventure or pick one up while you’re there if you need to protect yourself from the sun.
Depending on the country and the food item, imports of food items will vary. For personal consumption, snacks are generally allowed on planes (some exceptions apply).
The only reason to pack a filtered water bottle for your Italy trip is to help reduce waste and save the earth even if you don’t mind paying for water.
A lot fewer Italians wear basic blue jeans than their counterparts elsewhere. When women wear trousers, they’re rarely basic jeans or khakis; it’s not that women always wear dresses, and men wear suits. There are a variety of colors to choose from when it comes to pants. Women and men are both affected by this.
A few simple pieces of quality, stylish travel clothing will help you look like a local. Invest in a few simple pieces, and keep it light and mobile by choosing a great fit over a flashy look. In no time at all, you’ll be living la dolce vita (it happens fast).
- Fitted travel clothing is important
- For a versatile capsule wardrobe, invest in merino wool pieces
- Italy’s unofficial summer fabric is linen
- Whether you’re a man or a woman, short shorts are the way to go
- Look like a local by dusting off your travel blazer
- Wear slip-on shoes instead of socks
- With a stylish travel backpack, you can carry it all
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